In April 2011, the Social Security Administration (SSA) resumed issuing thousands of so-called “no-match letters” to employers around the country. These letters inform employers that certain Social Security Numbers (SSN) provided by employees do not match the names of the individuals that SSA has on file for such numbers. A “no-match” may be caused the use of a false or otherwise assigned SSN by an unauthorized worker. However, it may also be the result of an alteration to an individual’s status such as a name change or a simple typographical error. This issue is of considerable concern to employers with the recent increase in immigration enforcement aimed at companies employing unauthorized workers.
The new version of the “no-match” letter contains the name of one employee (rather than several employees as in the prior version) and does not include language warning the employer that failure to take action could be construed as constructive knowledge. It does particularly advise that receipt of the letter in and of itself should not be the basis of adverse action against the employee. Despite the change in language, it can still be considered by ICE in a potential investigation as indicia that an employer was aware of an individual’s ineligibility for US employment.
Our firm has counseled employers on employer sanctions issues and has represented employers in such enforcement proceedings since these laws were enacted more than 20 years ago. We recommend that employers pay careful attention to no-match letters.
Zulkie Partners is nationally recognized for its command of immigration law. We offer services that cover all aspects of corporate immigration law, including nonimmigrant work visas, permanent residence sponsorship and more.
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